Leave it to Mark Morris to debut his new piece, entitled “Water,” right alongside the East River, at the very tip of Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The score was by Handel, whose “Water Music” was composed for King George I in 1717 and meant to be played on a barge during a royal joyride along the Thames. Uncharacteristically for Mark Morris, the music for this debut was recorded and not live. But the extra percussion added by the helicopters, coast guard boats, ferries, and jet skis was most definitely in-the-moment, and heavy on improv. Despite these distractions, “Water” was an engrossing piece—in fact, I think the water traffic in the background only added to Morris’s playful irreverence.
Mark Morris Dance Group in “Water” at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photograph by John Eng
When a choreographer takes on volcanic and iconic works from American musical giants like Leonard Bernstein and John Adams one move they could take is to cool them down with a couple of more soothing European works in between.Continue Reading